Bison Game Day: It’s a dirty job, but NDSU Division II transfers love life as FCS emergency nose guard

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Ted Beutow, restaurant cooperator and chef, made it known when the venue opened in 2015 that the food would only reach the table if it was of the highest quality. The renovated look of an old building that has a stately appeal resembles a joint that Frank Sinatra would have frequented.

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In other words, the theme of high-end French cuisine is about as opposite as the position that Ted’s son Michael Buetow plays in the state of North Dakota.

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“I’m probably more of the charcoal steak type,” said Michael, a transfer from Minnesota State Mankato.

This is the nose guard. He’s the middle guy. Not only that, he’s a substitute who usually plays in short-range situations where the requirement is to put all of your strength into an offensive lineman. It’s a dirty job.

Michael Buetow of North Dakota takes on Chrysten Cochran of North Dakota with the help of his teammates on Saturday, March 20, 2021, at the Fargodome.  Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

Michael Buetow of North Dakota takes on Chrysten Cochran of North Dakota with the help of his teammates on Saturday, March 20, 2021, at the Fargodome. Alyssa Goelzer / The Forum

“It’s very physically demanding,” said Michael. ” It’s like that. It’s a violent, violent game and you have to be a man in it. You cannot be gentle. You can’t play here if you are gentle.

At 6 feet and 284 pounds, Michael looks like he should be playing in the rain and dirt of a grass field every Saturday, not inside Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. While defensive linemen like Eli Mostaert, Brayden Thomas (also a transfer from Mankato) and Will Mostaert lead the team in the quarterback sacks, and therefore the notoriety that goes with putting the QB on the turf, it is players like Buetow who are counted to jam the run in critical situations.

“You have to be very dominant, very physical,” he said. “You have to play angry; that’s the state of mind you have to have.

The mindset as a high school player for Buetow at St. Mary’s Springs Academy High School in Fond du Lac was to play at the Division I level. He was in communication with the defensive line coach. from the NDSU, Nick Goeser, who is recruiting in Wisconsin, but the Bisons did not offer anything.

It wasn’t for lack of notoriety. St. Mary’s was 50-2 in four years of college education, including two state championships. Nor was it for lack of knowledge about the NDSU. He grew up knowing former Bison running back Blaine Toshner of Fond du Lac. St. Mary’s head coach is Bob Hyland, a 1960s NDSU alumnus who is part of the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame.

“Coach Hyland loves the Bison, he wears it on his sleeve,” said Michael. “Much of what we’ve done in St. Mary’s Springs is similar to here. It is a program built on tradition.

Seeing no aspect of Division I, Buetow traveled to Division II at Minnesota State Mankato, where he started 27 of 43 games. He was a 2019 North Sun Intercollegiate Conference second-team all-star pick as a junior.

Buetow said he enjoyed his time with the Mavericks and still has a lot of good Mankato friends. But something in him was burning for a division that I brought down. So he grabbed his transfer bat so to speak and swung towards the fences, contacting Goeser. Buetow still had Goeser’s cell phone number and texted him.

“He said, hey, I just want a chance,” Goeser said. “I just want an opportunity to play at the next level. My dream has always been to play NDSU.

Getting started was not easy. Buetow moved to Fargo in the summer of 2020, at the height of problems with stopping the coronavirus pandemic. He didn’t know anyone. He was not eligible for games that fall due to transfer protocol, although it turned out that the NDSU only played one game against Central Arkansas anyway.

He showed up hoping to find a role.

“It was a very difficult adjustment,” said Buetow. “But I firmly believe that you must earn your right to have anything. You must earn the right to have friends, the right to be able to play, and the right to earn the respect of your peers. That’s how I approached it when I came here, earning the right to put myself in a position to be successful.

More than a year later, he is a popular player on the team. It’s easy to like any veteran player who adopts a selfless, do-nothing attitude.

That’s what Hyland saw in him as a high school player. There were times when Buetow had to be told to moderate it in practice.

“It was difficult for him to do that,” Hyland said. “He was one of those kids who loved football from an early age. He couldn’t get enough of football. Whenever he had the chance, he worked on the fundamentals and did weight training religiously.

Hyland said he encouraged Buetow to try NDSU. He saw a player who did everything for three years at Mankato. He knew Buetow was eager to see what he could do to the next level.

“He loved every minute of it, I think, I don’t think he’ll ever regret it,” Hyland said.

Incidentally, Ted Buetow was an all-state defensive lineman in 1974 for Hyland in St. Mary’s Springs.

“A gourmet chef,” Hyland said. “He specializes in sauces. It is one of the most popular places in the city.


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